This week, I would like to thank the author in person, for the opportunity to feature this great sounding Tuscan treat with you all!
When there are so many excellent bloggers and professional sites out there to choose from, that Gail even found Fiction Books, is a minor miracle in itself, let alone that she should then decide to contact me direct.
I would also like to once again thank the lovely NetGalley team for making the download so easy and painless, thus affording me one more platform on which to promote It Happened In Tuscany.
The book’s author, Gail Mencini, has also prepared a lovely guest article, which I shall be featuring in my next post, as It Happened In Tuscany, works its way up my reading list.
IT HAPPENED IN TUSCANY
In 1945, Will Mills and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division scaled Italy’s treacherous Riva Ridge in the frigid night to break through the nearly impenetrable German line of defense. Severely wounded, Will was rescued by Italian partisans and one, a beautiful girl, tended his injuries until he had the strength to rejoin the U.S. troops.
Tormented and haunted by his decisions and actions during wartime, Will knows he has unfinished missions in Italy to complete. The passage of time and years of carrying this unfulfilled need have molded Will into a bitter, angry man.
Seventy-five years later, Will’s spunky thirty-two-year-old neighbor, Sophie Sparke, faces disaster in her life. Everything is going wrong—her job, her love life, even her dog. Part of the problem is that confident and fiercely independent Sophie lets her quick mouth get her into trouble.
Grouchy, mean-spirited Will finagles Sophie into traveling with him to Tuscany to find the partisan who saved his life. Will also secretly hopes to confront the demons his wartime actions created. Sophie and Will comb enchanting Tuscan hill towns on an improbable and unfolding mission with few clues to aid them. Will’s passionate tenacity drives their quest and in the process exposes their darkest secrets. The journey alters the course of their lives, and Will and Sophie find more than they had imagined in the hills of Tuscany.
Gail was born and raised in a rural community in Nebraska, where everyone knew their neighbours and summers were spent outdoors—working, playing, or watching fireflies. Her love for reading books and imagining characters and their stories germinated during those days of creating her own world.
Gail’s parents raised her to be independent. Graduating from Wartburg College with a BA in Accounting and Economics and a master of taxation degree from the University of Denver, brought her training in tax law, and for many years she practiced as a CPA using that knowledge. Her parents, who visited every continent except Antarctica, also sparked her love of travel and adventure, which burns brighter than ever, whilst her loving husband, along with their four sons, their activities, and their dogs, fill her daily life with joy.
It was a hot July summer visit to Key West, which sparked Gail’s writing career. She and her husband had toured Ernest Hemingway’s house. Smacked in the face with the master writer’s ghost and palpable presence, she confessed her secret desire to write books, although unlike Gail, her husband felt only the heat and humidity and not a trace of Ernest!
Her confession led to a novel that won contests, but otherwise never saw the light of day. Years of writing, revising, and rejections occurred, and then a kernel of an idea, and several trips to Italy, evolved into her debut novel, To Tuscany with Love.
Living in the beautiful state of Colorado, being a wife, mother, writer, and breast cancer survivor, Gail believes herself to be truly blessed.
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“It’s never too late to take stock of one’s work, relationships, and life. What dreams of yours are unfulfilled, and why have they been pushed aside? Sometimes circumstances or economics are the unavoidable roadblock to achieving your dreams.
When things are outside of a person’s control, all one can do is to evaluate how best to deal with these obstacles, and then take action. That was my personal approach when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The best thing about my cancer was that I realized how many people cared about me and wanted to help. I am not very good at asking for help and, unfortunately, many people are the same. Family and friends are a grossly underrated asset, which is why I centered my debut novel, To Tuscany with Love, on a group of friends who help each other save, and forgive, themselves.
A surprising occurrence is that sometimes we ourselves, like my characters, have become the obstruction to achieving our goals. Passionately investing in your relationships and dreams is the first step to molding yourself into the person you dream of being and in the process, achieving happiness and fulfillment.”
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share links to the books that came into their house during the last week. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well, after all you never know where that next “must read” book will come from.